The Extroverted Superhero

Everyone knows at least one person who is extremely extroverted. Someone who is completely comfortable in every social situation. They feed of off peoples’ social energy. I call them energy vampires, but more positively, an extroverted superhero.

How do they do it?

For as long as I can remember, I had been an introvert. I had been severely bullied in elementary school. I had a two ‘friends’ through it all. Really, they weren’t friends, but just people in similar circumstances.

All through high school, this trend prevailed resulting in a lack-luster high school experience. While the bullying receded, the lack of confidence and self-esteem grew inside me. I had distant memories of happiness and confidence slowing slipping through my fingers.

I felt like I was not good enough, not for anyone else and not even for myself. I couldn’t form new relationships and I couldn’t maintain old ones. I started to internalize this behaviour.

It was definitely a dark time. Thoughts always zoomed passed my head. Maybe it was hormones talking, but I was anxious and depressed. Would suicide solve anything? What if I faked my own death and started over?

But, gradually I changed. I never really thought about how or what prompted it, but I changed. Thinking back now, I know how it happened. Everything changed gradually after I met one person.

Taking Baby Steps

I noticed that he started smiling at people, random people, for no reason. There is a lot of power in a smile. It’s not very often, that people smile at others. I adopted the random smile. Even without actual social interactions, smiling eased me out of my comfort zone.

Smiling eventually made people approach me, which took out half the internal battle. Extremely anxious at first, the interactions got easier.

You have to learn to walk before you can run. You have to take small steps to get over this hurdle. Something as small and simple as a smile can have profound affects on you and the receiver. You will notice that they almost always smile back.

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A contented feeling erupted in my body and I smiled more. The more people I smiled at, the more that feeling grew. Eventually smiling became a normal reaction.

The Gradual Talk

Eventually these smiles blossomed into brief, albeit terrifying, conversations. It was extremely nerve-racking. Everything that was not supposed to happen happened. My hands started to sweat; my heart was beating faster and faster, louder and louder, until I couldn’t even hear myself think.

But after each conversation, my body produced a euphoric rush. That feeling pushed me to talk to more people. I needed to feel that rush again. Thinking back, it was like a drug and I was addicted.

I found myself talking to someone new every single day. My body was craving that rush and pushed me to do it. The crippling fear was there, but I used it to my advantage.

Being an introvert is hard work. I always knew I wanted to be a extroverted superhero, but when every single fiber in your body is telling you not to do something, it’s hard to go against it. But I promise you, when you do, that feeling is incredible.

I went from being a complete introvert to a moderate extrovert. Unconsciously, I desired a change and then gradually changed. What would happen if someone consciously decided to change? I think you may become an extroverted superhero.

I would love to be an extroverted superhero one day. Talking to anyone, at anytime, about anything, is an underrated superpower. Plus, I think I could pull off a cape.

Approaching random people is still somewhat hard for me, but it gets easier and easier every single day.

Approaching women – reducing the risks with a smile

 I’m not very good at approaching women.

Everything is fine once I get into the conversation, but the thoughts that run through my head once I tell myself I’ll approach a girl could come straight from a Stephen King novel.

My mind fills up, endlessly complicating the situation with predictions of every way it could turn out.  I get so caught up in this that I don’t take the first step. Actually, at this point I don’t even know the first step because I am looking ahead down so many paths.
I need things to be simple; complication drains  me.

Instead of looking ahead, let’s look at the very first thing that happens when you make eye contact.
Hopefully, you smile.

When I was doing sales, I would be smiling all the time.

On the phone, if you didn’t smile, people could hear it. While out doing door to door, you had to have a smile on at all times. We would be amazed if we understood the true power that smiling has on our interactions with the world.
It can turn a stranger into a friendly face in a moment.

It can also be a powerful tool if you see a cute girl and want to reduce the risks of being rejected before you approach her.

These are two styles you can use to assess and reduce the risks when you see that cute girl in the supermarket.

The first approach is the single smile.

When you see that cute girl, look at her and try to make eye contact. This doesn’t mean that you should stare at her until her eyes meet yours, that is kind of creepy. People can tell when they are being watched, and it is not a comfortable feeling. So look at her when she is looking somewhere in your direction, and she should make eye contact with you.

Now put on your best smile, sir!

Smile like you are thinking about a clever joke. Cock your smile a little bit to the side, give it some attitude. While you smile at her try to keep eye contact for a second or two, she will assume at this point that you are interested, but that is what you want!

Almost instantly, she will know where which category you fall under in her mind. Either you are “Hmm, not bad” or “Eh, not interested.”

If she smiles back, and doesn’t immediately remove eye contact, you are probably in the second category.

There you go!

Now you know that she is open to an interaction. If you approach her and give her a simple compliment, the worst that could possibly happen is that she will be flattered, but not enough to go further.

That isn’t a bad worst case scenario, you probably just made her day.
It’s not everyday that a woman gets a compliment, even if they are “perfect” in your eyes.

Maybe you are more timid than that.

Maybe you can’t even muster up a smile with that much flirtation attached to it. Well if you are a more timid guy, here is the second approach.

The double smile.

I’m not very good at coming up with names as you can tell. With this approach, you can really make sure beyond a doubt that, at the very least, she won’t mind a short conversation.

With this approach, you want your first smile to be a lot less forward.

Once you make eye contact with the girl, just give a short, polite smile. You can see whether she smiles back, or she looks away and scurries off. This is as safe as it gets, your first smile won’t say “Hey, I’m interested in you!” right off the bat.

Assuming she smiled back, and isn’t on a train half way to mexico by now, you have broken the first barrier. You now know, that at the very least, she is okay with you smiling at her.

Now that you are a little bit more comfortable, it’s time to throw out that second smile.

This smile will be like the one in the first approach.

Remember, make it a little playful. This time keep eye contact for a second, if she is smiling back then you have a feel for the situation and the risks have lowered by quite a lot.

Now go up and say something!

Give her a small compliment. Walk up and say “You know what” then just start spouting off a random opinion or thought you have.

You can talk about how hard it is to approach women in this day and age, or say that women should approach men more often.
You can essentially say anything. I will write a future post about the next steps in approaching women.

Extra tips:

If you are extremely shy, practice smiling at the elderly. They will almost always be glad to receive a smile, and they are a lot less intimidating. Try smiling at as many strangers as you can throughout the day, and it will start to become automatic.

If you find that you are coming up with excuse after excuse to avoid approaching a girl you like, read my friend Leroy Milton’s blog post on the subject.

I hope this was helpful, women are scary. Life is scary. But with each baby step you take, your confidence will snowball.
Allow yourself to be a beginner, and be confident that one day you will be fearless!